Monday, August 18, 2008

An open letter to Westfield residents

The following was sent in by Karen and Paul Torop. The images (click to enlarge) show the letter from the Conservation Commission, which states in its first sentence, "At the Conservation Commission Meeting on March 13, 2008, it was resolved that siting the Army Reserve Base in the Maromas area of Middletown is not in the best interests of the citizens of Middletown nor the

Dear Westfield residents,

Perhaps we, more than most, can understand your feelings about having the Army facility in your neighborhood because we have fought the battle you are fighting now. We have supported you and will continue to support you. There may be no suitable site in Middletown for this facility. We all need to work together to determine if this is so, and to prevent any part of the city from inappropriate and destructive development.

It may seem like a solution to go along with those who tell you that there are suitable sites in Maromas, the site on River Road in particular. What you may not know is that there are people and environmental groups -- local as well as regional -- that have been working for years to preserve what is left of the forest and meadows along the Connecticut River, the part of the watershed that happens to be in Middletown. Attached is a letter from Middletown's own Conservation Commission to the Mayor, written a few months ago, in which the Commission explains why there should not be an Army base in Maromas and especially on the River Road site. It was written before the Army selected the Boardman Lane site; we think it is safe to assume that the Commission would not be in favor of that property, thanks to your efforts. Please read the letter. And please do not allow yourselves to be manipulated by those who have tried and are trying again -- using you -- to pave more of the land that it is our responsibility to protect.

Karen and Paul Torop

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